Advertisement

Investigating Cultural Influences on Innovation: A Comparison of Estonian and Danish Biotechnology Organizations

  • Krista Jaakson
  • Frances Jørgensen
  • Dorel Tamm
  • Gerli Hämmal
Chapter
Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM, volume 15)

Abstract

Successful innovation could be considered the most important aspect in firm’s survival and economic success. One of the key determinants of successful innovation is organizational culture, but studies investigating the role of the organizational culture in innovation activities are rare. This chapter tries to fulfill that gap through analyzing cultural influence on innovation in Estonian and Danish biotechnology organizations. Biotechnology was chosen because it is highly innovative activity and is considered to be enabling technology throughout the world. Organizational culture’s characteristics linked to firm’s capabilities to engage in successful innovations were identified based on literature published between 2000 and present. As a result, an interview guide addressing observable key variables of organizational culture supporting innovation was developed. Interview guide consisted of 54 questions which were divided into four groups – firm’s strategy, structure of the firm, support mechanisms employed by the firm, and innovation-oriented behavior. To find out to which extent Estonian and Danish biotechnology firms possess the identified organizational culture’s characteristics authors conducted 15 interviews with Estonian and 26 interviews with Danish biotechnology firms. On the basis of the interviews’ results, authors identified variables that might explain different innovation capacity in those countries and discuss the importance of the socioeconomic environment where organizations operate.

Keywords

Organizational Culture Innovation Performance Successful Innovation Socioeconomic Environment Organizational Innovativeness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Ott-Siim Toomet, Karsten Romby Larsen, and all the managers in Estonia and Denmark who agreed to be interviewed. The study was supported by the Estonian Science Foundation project agreements No. 7018 and No. 8311 and by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research target funding SF0180037s08.

References

  1. Alas, R., & Rees, C. J. (2006). Work-related attitudes, values and radical change in post-Socialist contexts: A comparative study. Journal of Business Ethics, 68, 181–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amabile, T., Schatzel, E. Moneta, G., Kramer, S. (2004). Leader behaviors and the work environment for creativity: Perceived leader support. Leadership Quarterly 15(1), 5–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andriopoulos, C., & Lewis, M. (2009). Exploitation-exploration tensions and organizational ambidexterity: Managing paradoxes of innovation. Organization Science, 20(4), 696–717.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhates, R., & Khasawneh, S. (2005). Organizational learning culture, learning transfer climate and perceived innovation in Jordanian organizations. International Journal of Training and Development, 9(2), 96–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Biotech in the new EU member states: An emerging sector (2009). Biotechnology Report. Europabio and Venture Valuation.Google Scholar
  6. Boyne, G. (2002). Public and private management: What is the difference? Journal of Management Studies, 39(1), 97–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chatman, J., & Jehn, K. (1994). Assessing the relationship between industry characteristics and organizational culture: How different can you be? Academy of Management Journal, 37(3), 522–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Commission of the European Communities (2009). Preparing for our future: Developing a common strategy for key enabling technologies in the EU. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, The Council, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/ict/files/communication_key_enabling_technologies_sec1257_en.pdf. Accessed 31 May 2010.
  9. Dastmalchian, A., Lee, S., Ng, I. (2000). The interplay between organizational and national cultures: A comparison of organizational practices in Canada and South Korea using the Competing Values Framework. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 11(2), 388–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dobny, C. B. (2008). Measuring innovation culture in organizations. European Journal of Innovation Management, 11(4), 539–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dombrowski, C., Kim, J., Desouza, K., Braganza, A., Papagari, S., Baloh, P., Jha, S. (2007). Elements of innovative cultures. Knowledge and Process Management, 14(3), 190–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dorabjee, S., Lumley, C. E., Cartwright, S. (1998). Culture, innovation and successful development of new medicines – an exploratory study of the pharmaceutical industry. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 19(4): 199–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Edquist, C. (1997). Systems of innovation approaches: Their emergence and characteristics. In C. Edquist (Ed.) Systems of innovation: Technologies, institutions and organizations (pp. 1–35). London: Pinter Publishers.Google Scholar
  14. Estonian Community Innovation Survey 2004–2006 (2006).Google Scholar
  15. Estonian Genome Foundation (2008). Biotechnology in Estonia: Overview, Companies & Research. 3 rd ed. Tartu.Google Scholar
  16. Fey, C., & Denison, D. (2003). Organizational culture and effectiveness: Can American theory be applied in Russia? Organization Science, 14(6), 686–706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. fDi Intelligence (2009). New corporate location trends in biotechnology. http://online.fdimagazine.com/files/2010/02/BIO_2009_Breakfast_Briefing_-20-May-09.pdf. Accessed 8 March 2010.
  18. Gremler, D. D. (2004). The critical incident technique in service research. Journal of Service Research, 7(1), 65–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gudmundson, D., Tower, C., Hartman, E. (2003). Innovation in small businesses: Culture and ownership structure do matter. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 8(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
  20. Heiskanen, E., Hyysalo, S., Tanja, K., Repo, P. (2010). Constructing innovative users and user-inclusive innovation communities. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 22(4), 495–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  22. Jaskyte, K., & Dressler, W. (2005). Organizational culture and innovation in Non-profit human service organizations. Administration in Social Work, 29(2), 23–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jenkins, H. (2004). A critique of conventional CSR theory: An SME perspective. Journal of General Management, 29(4), 37–57.Google Scholar
  24. Johnson, M. (1996). Finding creativity in technical organization. Research Technology Management, 3a(5), 9–11.Google Scholar
  25. Jørgensen, F., Laugen, B., Boer, H. (2007). Human resource management for continuous improvement. Creativity and Innovation Management, 16(4), 363–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jørgensen, F., Becker, K., Matthews, J. (2009). HRM and Innovation: What are knowledge-intensive firms doing? Proceedings for the 10th International CINet Conference, Enhancing the Innovation Environment, Brisbane, Australia, September 4–8, 2009.Google Scholar
  27. Judge, W., Fryxell, G., Dooley, R. (2000) The new task of R&D management: Creating goal-directed communities for innovation. In E. L. Lesser, M. A. Fontaine, J. A. Slusher (Eds.), Knowledge and communities (pp. 37–52). Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kesting, P., & Ulhøi, J. P. (2010). Employee-driven innovation: Extending the license to foster innovation. Management Decision, 48(1), 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Khazanchi, S., Lewis, M., Boyer, K. (2007). Innovation-supportive culture: The impact of organizational values on process innovation. Journal of Operations Management, 25, 871–884.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kukk, P., & Truve, E. (2008). Eesti biotehnoloogia strateegia 2008–2013. 93 p. http://www.biotech.ee/data/doc//Eesti_biotehnoloogia_strateegia_2008-2013.f.v..pdf. Accessed 26 June 2009.
  31. Lau, C., & Ngo, H. (2004). The HR system, organizational culture, and product innovation. International Business Review, 13, 685–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Laursen, K., & Foss, N. (2003). New Human Resource practices, complementarities, and impact on innovation performance. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 27(2), 243–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Leavy, B. (2005). A leader’s guide to creating an innovation culture. Strategy and Leadership, 33(4), 38–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lööf, H. (2010). Innovation Strategy and Firm Performance: What is the long-run impact of persistent R&D? Proceedings of MEIDE Conference, 27–28 May 2010, Tartu: http://www.merit.unu.edu/MEIDE/papers/2010/Loof.pdf. Accessed 9 June 2010.
  35. Martins, E., & Terblanche, F. (2003). Building organizational culture that stimulates creativity and innovation. European Journal of Innovation Management, 6(1), 64–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Masso, J., & Vahter, P. (2008). Technological innovation and productivity in late-transition Estonia: econometric evidence from innovation surveys. The European Journal of Development Research, 20(2), 240–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McKelvey, M., & Bohlin, E. (2005). Conditions for innovation in biotechnology and telecommunications. Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice, 7(1), 1–6.Google Scholar
  38. McLean, L. D. (2005). Organizational culture’s influence on creativity and innovation: A Review of the literature and implications for human resource management. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 7(2), 226–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. OECD Biotechnology Statistics (2009). http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/23/42833898.pdf. Accessed 8 March 2010.
  40. Oshiotse, A., & O’Leary, R. (2007). Corning creates an inclusive culture to drive technology innovation and performance. Global Business and Organizational Excellence, March/April, 7–21.Google Scholar
  41. Põder, K. (2009). The evolution of non-cooperative behaviour: the case of post-transitional Estonia. Baltic Journal of Management, 4(3), 301–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pruzan, P. (2003). Theory and practice of business ethics in Denmark: Is something still rotten in the state of Denmark? In J. Morsing, & C. Thyssen (Eds.), Corporate values and responsibility: The case of Denmark. (pp. 42–60.) Gylling: Samfundslitteratur.Google Scholar
  43. Raisch, S., Birkinshaw, J., Probst, G., Tushman, M. L. (2009). Organizational ambidexterity: Balancing exploitation and exploration for sustained performance. Organization Science, 20(4), 685–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Realo, A. (2003). Comparison of public and academic discourses: Estonian individualism and collectivism revisited. Culture and Psychology, 9(1), 47–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rees, C. J., & Miazhevich, G. (2009). Socio-cultural change and business ethics in Post-Soviet countries: The cases of Belarus and Estonia. Journal of Business Ethics, 86, 51–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Reino, A. (2009). Manifestations of organizational culture based on the example of Estonian organizations. Dissertationes Rerum Oeconomicarum Universitatis Tartuensis, 26. Tartu: Tartu University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Ruiz-Moreno, A., Garcia-Morales, V. J., Llorens-Montes, F. J. (2008). The moderating effect of organizational slack on the relation between perceptions of support for innovation and organizational climate. Personnel Review, 37(5), 509–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schein, E. (1983). The role of founder in creating organizational culture. Organizational Dynamics, 12, 13–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shipton, H., West, M. A., Dawson, J., Birdi, K., Malcolm, P. (2006). HRM as a predictor of innovation. Human Resource Management Journal, 16(1), 3–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Smits, R., Kuhlman, S. (2004). The rise of systemic instruments in innovation policy. International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 1(1/2), 4–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tellis, G. J., Prabhu, J. C., Chandy, R. K. (2009). Radical innovation across nations: The preeminence of corporate culture. Journal of Marketing, 73(1), 3–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tesluk, P. Faar, J., Klein, S. (1997). Influences of organizational culture and climate on individual creativity. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 31(1), 21–41.Google Scholar
  53. Tidd, J., Bessant, J., Pavitt, K. (2005). Managing innovation: Integrating technological, market and organizational change. 3 rd ed. Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  54. Toomet, O., & Meriküll, J. (2010). Language skills and social integration: Ethnic disparities in bilingual economy. Southern Illinois University Carbondale Conference Proceedings http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1026%26context=pnconfs_2010. Accessed 25 May 2010.Google Scholar
  55. Tushman, M., & O’Reilly, C. III (1997). Winning through innovation: A practical guide to leading organizational change and renewal. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  56. Vadi, M., & Roots, H. (2006). Estonian organizations: The subjects for transformation. In H. Hannula, S. Radoševic, N. von Tunzelmann (Eds). Estonia, the new EU economy: Building a Baltic miracle? (pp. 189–206). Aldershot, Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Limited.Google Scholar
  57. Vadi, M., & Türk. K. (2009). Behaviour patterns in Estonian enterprises from the perspective of the value chain. Baltic Journal of Management, 4(1), 34–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wang, C. L., & Ahmed, P. K. (2004). The development and validation of the organizational innovativeness construct using confirmatory factor analysis. European Journal of Innovation Management, 7(4), 303–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. West, M. A., & Farr, J. L. (1990). Innovation at work. In M. A. West, & J. L. Farr (Eds.), Innovation and creativity at work: Psychological and organizational strategies (pp. 3–13). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Aarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

Personalised recommendations